Spiriva now approved for asthma!
Although Spiriva has been used in the U.S. for the treatment of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) at a once a day dose of 2 puffs (5 mcg total) since 2004, there is good news for individuals with asthma!
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the long-acting muscarinic antagonist tiotropium bromide (Spiriva Respimat, Boehringer Ingelheim) for long-term treatment of asthma in people over 12 years old.
For treating asthma, the FDA approved 2.5 μg (delivered in two puffs of 1.25 μg each) to be taken once a day. Spiriva Respimat is not a treatment for the sudden symptoms of asthma or COPD but instead to be used on a regular basis to control asthma.
This new indication for asthma therapy was based on effectiveness and safety data from 12 trials involving 5000 adults and adolescents with mild, moderate, and severe asthma who were still having symptoms despite receiving at least an inhaled corticosteroid (medications like Qvar, Pulmicort, Flovent, Asmanex).
In these trials, the addition of Spiriva Respimat significantly improved lung function and reduced asthma flares compared with placebo (sugar pill). The most common adverse effects (>2% incidence) were sore throat, sinus infections, bronchitis, and headache in adults.
When asthma symptoms of cough, wheezing, chest tightness and/or shortness of breath are not controlled on current asthma medications, the addition of Spiriva Respimat taken once a day may provide additional bronchodilation to help breathe better and reduce asthma attacks.
At Family Allergy & Asthma Care of Montana, we strive to keep our asthma patients healthy and that includes knowing which medications to be used for which patients. Spiriva is one more treatment in the armamentarium for treating asthma. Stay informed!